Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Expressing Spirituality - Conversation 4 With Joan Chittister

This post is part of the "Lent 2015" series.

“Spirituality is expressed in everything we do.” - Anne E. Carr

“I believe that our lives are our spirituality, but I am not sure that behavior is its certain indicator. I do a great many things that “look” good….” - Joan Chittister

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead, also.” - James 2:26

It’s a tricky proposition, this quest to deepen one’s spirituality. I want to strengthen my faith - or maybe just better define it - and, in so doing, I realize I must also examine my behavior, because it’s through my words and actions that I interact with the world around me. 

But too often we become so focused on our behaviors, the “whats”, and we lose sight of the “whys” - our basic faith that motivates us to act in love in the first place.

Let’s face it: Fear of the unknown is a valid fear. And, none of us really knows what happens after we die. Oh, we have theories and myths and beliefs, but we don’t have proof.

And that’s scary.

But that’s also where faith comes in. You know, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see," (Hebrews 11:1) and all that business.

However, just like proclaiming you’re a believer in the spiritual connections of mankind without actually doing anything to help your fellow humans during their time of need is useless, performing a bunch of good deeds without genuine love and concern for those around you doesn’t necessarily get you brownie points in the afterlife, either.

So, how do we strike a balance? how do we make sure we are living an authentic spiritual life? How do we allow love to guide and dictate our actions as we journey through life? 

Seriously, how do YOU ensure your are not just acting out of habit or a sense of duty when you perform charitable deeds? How do you keep your love for others - and the world around you - sincere? Share your thoughts in the comments section below….

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